What is GDPR? Does Your Website Need to Be GDPR Compliant?

Ready or Not, Here Comes GDPR: What You Need to Know – and Do – to be Compliant

You’ve probably heard about the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that takes effect on May 25. Although it’s receiving scant attention in the news, GDPR is sounding a depth charge among American companies as it implements sweeping changes on businesses that deal with customer data – which may very well include yours. In other words, GDPR compliance isn’t just for EU-based companies. Here’s what you need to know.

What is GDPR?

In TechRepublic’s cut-to-the-chase terms, the GDPR was put in place to protect the personal data of EU residents and affects any business that has customers located in the EU. There is no restriction based on location, company size or scope of business, meaning any entity with an internet presence could be affected. As reported by TechRepublic’s Brandon Vigliarolo, fines for non-compliance will be high. Any service offered to an EU resident – regardless of whether the service is free and which country hosts its servers – has to play by the rules.

The Big Difference

Calling the GDPR a “seismic shift in the digital information space,” Kimberly Simpson – regional director of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) – noted the major differences in the approach to collecting personal data in the United States and the EU.

“In the U.S., personal information is often collected as a matter of course, with only an ‘opt out’ offered to consumers. By contrast, GDPR requires that in order to collect information from EU data subjects, an affirmative ‘opt in’ consent must be obtained that clearly specifies how the data will be used. Privacy policies must match. Then, once information is obtained, the EU data subject has the right to request that his or her data be deleted; that is, to invoke the right ‘to be forgotten.’ Incorrect information must be corrected upon request. These rights may seem simple enough, but when data is held in multiple locations, developing a process to handle such requests may be quite difficult.”

WordPress & GDPR Compliance

As implied in all this, a key part of GDPR is the business’ responsibility to secure customer data and websites to prevent data breaches, phishing and other forms of malicious online activity. Search Engine Watch turned attention to WordPress, noting that estimates show WordPress is used by 25-40% of the internet – and given its widespread popularity and usage, it is a prime target for hackers.

WordPress is prepared for GDPR, introducing its GDPR Compliance Team and providing information on how WordPress is paving the way with new privacy tools.

The GDPR Compliance Team is focusing on four main areas:

• Adding functionality to assist site owners in creating comprehensive privacy policies for their websites.

• Creating guidelines for plugins to become GDPR ready.

• Adding administration tools to facilitate compliance and encourage user privacy in general.

• Adding documentation to educate site owners on privacy, the main GDPR compliance requirements and on how to use the new privacy tools.

WordPress has also added a roadmap for adding privacy tools to core. These tools will help website owners comply with GDPR and other privacy laws and requirements.

Social Media Marketing and GDPR Compliance

Social media marketers now need to ensure that the data they collect – as well as how they collect the data – from EU members is GDPR complaint. According to Social Media Examiner, collection of personal data from an EU resident requires obtaining explicit consent, which generally means that the consent should be:

Voluntary – Have the user take affirmative action.

Specific and informed – Make sure people are aware of what you’re collecting, how it’s being used, and whom it may be shared with.

Unambiguous – Don’t disguise with redirects to terms of service overflowing with legal jargon.

Ready or Not, Here it Comes!

However, many organizations are still not ready. According to Crowd Research Partners’ 2018 GDPR Compliance Report, only 40% of organizations are either GDPR compliant or well on their way to compliance by this month’s deadline. Other key findings include:

• A whopping 60% of organizations are at risk of missing the GDPR deadline. Only 7% of surveyed organizations say they are in full compliance with GDPR requirements today, and 33% state they are well on their way to compliance deadline.

• While 80% confirm GDPR is a top priority for their organization, only half say they are knowledgeable about the data privacy legislation or have deep expertise; an alarming 25% have no or only very limited knowledge of the law.

• The primary compliance challenges are lack of expert staff (43%), closely followed by lack of budget (40%), and a limited understanding of GDPR regulations (31%). A majority of 56% expect their organization’s data governance budget to increase to deal with GDPR challenges.

Becoming GDPR compliant doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process. Virtual Stacks Systems offers comprehensive web design, web hosting and social media marketing services that can help you make compliance seamless. Contact us to learn more.

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Don’t Get Locked Out! Why Your Website Needs SSL

Don't Get Locked Out! Why Your Website Needs SSL - Even if You Don’t Think it Does

It seems that every week brings news about yet another high-profile hack or data breach exposing the personal information of millions of people to cybercriminals. While the increasing occurrence of such acts has inspired a thriving industry based on data protection, there is one common – yet powerful – security technology proven to prevent identity theft and other types of online crime: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Here, we provide a look at the basics of SSL technology, why you should use it even if your website isn’t for ecommerce, and its advantages beyond security.

SSL is the industry standard used by millions of websites in protecting online transactions with their customers. In order to meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, an online business needs an SSL certificate with the proper encryption of at least 128-bit. PCI standards verify that the SSL certificate is from a trusted source, uses the right strength of encryption and provides a private connection on any page that requires customers to enter personal information. Without a certificate that meets these standards, a site won’t be able to take credit card payments.

SSL is also essential in gaining customer trust in the integrity of your business by guarding against phishing emails, which contain links that lead unsuspecting customers to a convincing replica of an otherwise reputable site. Often disguised as advertisements or shipping confirmations, these emails attempt to get credit card information. When customers don’t see the signs of security on a site, they’re more likely to navigate away without entering information. According to HubSpot research, up to 85% of website visitors will not continue browsing if a site is not secure.

How Does SSL Work?

Elegant in its simplicity, SSL establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a browser (such as an ecommerce website and browser), or between two servers (such as an application with personal identifiable information). This link ensures that all data transferred between the web server and browser or between two systems remains private and integral – preventing criminals from reading and modifying any transferred information, such as credit card numbers, other financial information, names, addresses and comparable personal details.

To be able to do this requires an SSL Certificate. SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. An SSL Certificate typically contains the domain name, as well as domain and company name; company address, city, state and country. It also will contain the expiration date of the Certificate and details of the Certification Authority responsible for the issuance of the Certificate.

During the process of creating an SSL Certificate, the web designer is prompted to answer a series of questions about the identity of the website and company. The web server then creates two cryptographic keys: a Private Key and a Public Key. The latter is placed into a Certificate Signing Request, which is submitted during the SSL Certificate application process. The Certification Authority then validates the details and issues a SSL Certificate. The web server then matches the issued SSL Certificate to the Private Key. The web server will then be able to establish an encrypted link between the website and customers’ web browsers.

When a certificate is successfully installed on a server, the application protocol (also known as HTTP) will change to HTTPs, where the ‘S’ stands for ‘secure.’ Depending on the type of certificate purchased and which browser is used, the browser will show a padlock or green bar on a website that has an SSL Certificate installed.

When a browser connects to a secure site, it retrieves the site’s SSL Certificate and check that it:

 Has not expired

 Has been issued by a Certification Authority the browser trusts

 That it is being used by the website for which it has been issued

If the SSL Certificate fails on any one of these checks, the browser will display a warning to the website visitor that the site is not secured by SSL.

How to get free SSL, Google Chrome SSL Warning, Google Blocking HTTP in July, Orlando SEO

SSL certificates are available online at a variety of annual fees, depending upon the CA and level of validation/protection desired.

One such CA, Let’s Encrypt, has issued more than 50 million active certificates at no cost – that is, for FREE– to further Let’s Encrypt commitment to encrypting the entire web. While web developers implement SSL themselves, professional web development companies (such as Virtual Stacks Systems) include it as part of their service offerings.

Google Sets an SSL Ultimatum Chrome Will Enforce It

With all the emphasis on personal information security, some business owners and decision-makers may think that SSL is only necessary for ecommerce websites. However, websites that have pages with a search box and/or forms for visitors to fill out and submit – such as to receive an ebook or whitepaper for lead generation purposes – are being strongly motivated by Google to enable SSL across the entire site.

Do I Need SSL Certificate, Get SSL, HTTPS Certificate, Chrome SSL Warning in Chrome

As of October 2017, version 62 Chrome began labeling HTTP pages as insecure if users can input any data which applies to any page with a search box. The browser shows the ‘Not secure’ warning when users type data into the HTTP sites. The expanded warnings for HTTP pages are intended to add pressure on site owners to acquire the necessary certificates and set up HTTPS on their web servers. The clock is ticking, as this July, Google will label all non-SSL websites insecure with the dreaded 'Not secure' warning in red, and although everything in SEO is debatable, no one can debate that the worst thing for your SEO is a website no one can visit! 

SSL Improves SEO – Plus the Take-home Message

Enabling SSL across the entire website provides an additional advantage: it’s good for SEO. According to Google Webmaster Trends Analysts Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes, SSL is part of Google’s search ranking algorithm. In addition, Google has publicly stated that two websites that are otherwise equal in search results, if one has SSL enabled it may receive a rank boost to outweigh the other – providing a clear benefit to enabling SSL on your website and across all content. In fact, SEMrush.com lists SSL as one of the top 10 ranking factors in its 2017 ranking factor study.

CAs recognize and promote the SEO benefit as well. For example, the Enterprise EV SSL/TLS Certificate offered by SSL.com lists “Improves Search Engine Rankings” as a feature – and, of course, an incentive to purchase this premium security level.

To recap, SSL provides secure data transfer for online transactions to protect consumers and businesses, helps prevent existing or potential customers from falling victim to phishing schemes, prevents red flags from being raised about your website and boosts SEO. To ensure the best win-win scenario for your business, our web development team at Virtual Stacks Systems can answer your questions about SSL. Contact us to learn what we have to offer.

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Where is the Cloud?

Answering the question you were afraid to ask.

The cloud, to those outside of the data realm, is as intangible as its namesake. An airy, out-of-reach presence that seems to linger above (Around? Beneath?) Us and, somehow, holds all of our data. Where is the cloud, anyway? Yet, as many people struggle to answer this question, they somehow know that they use the cloud every day. From that Google doc to the movie they streamed on the plane, to the dump of photos they cleared off of their iPhone. The “cloud” may be the buzzword to end all buzzwords, seeing as so many people use it, but so very few can describe what it is. Here is some background on the cloud:

The History of Cloud Computing

where is the cloudThe phrase has been in increasing use over the last 10 or so years. But cloud computing or at least its basic infrastructure has been around for over half a century! In the 1950’s, back when computers were much larger (Like, size of a room larger), one would log onto a “dummy terminal”, basically an interface with very limited controls, to use the larger, more capable computer. Without the mainframe, the terminals were pretty much useless. This was the very early conceptual version of cloud computing. In the 1990’s it was becoming increasingly clear that the internet would become the essential information-sharing powerhouse that it is today. Engineers started to draw a “cloud” to represent this network of information sharing. It was not long before engineers at Compac coined the term “cloud computing”. A little less than a decade later, we were using the internet to store and download files, but from where exactly? The cloud.

The cloud: defined.

The cloud, while whimsical and mysterious sounding in nature, is actually not all that complicated. Simply, all the data transmitted and shared around the internet needs to go SOMEWHERE. That somewhere is a global infrastructure of connected servers and data center that hold on to, receive, and send back data at absurd speeds. Once high-speed internet became commonplace, it no longer made sense to store all data on your device. That is a lot of information and would require very large amounts of storage. Why do that when you can just save it “online” or, rather, in the innumerable data centers. Now, you do not need a multi-terabyte hard drive to have access to years upon years’ worth of data. It can all go to the cloud (at a cost, for THAT much information) Hardware does not mean as much, provided you are on a reliable network. But here’s where things can get a little tricky, depending on your service provider. When you send your data to the cloud, it lives on your provider’s server. Depending on the contract and/or terms-of-service of that provider, they may technically now own that information.

Critiques and Critics of Cloud Technology

Some of the biggest concerns in regards to the cloud are:
  • Where is the information stored?
  • How many copies of that information exists?
  • Can the company be trusted to remove copies of deleted content?
Furthermore, many service agreements fail to clearly define the ownership of content, leaving a big hole if legal issues were to arise. where is the cloud So where is the cloud? The majority of cloud servers call the United States and Ireland home. But cloud servers are global. This means that the data stored on the servers is subject to the information laws of that specific country. In places that have more stringent laws toward data protection and privacy, this may not be a big deal. In other places were laws are loose or ill-defined, you may run into challenges when it comes to ownership and privacy. At the end of the day, more often than not, cloud service providers are responsible for protecting your data. Why else would you be paying them? Yet, some terms of service do specify that if government organizations request your information, they will pass it on to them. Often, without a warrant. It is worth taking a look at the fine print before choosing a cloud storage provider. Another area of concern for cloud-based technologies is in the workplace. When important documents are password protected in a cloud server, and employees have access to them, there is a certain modicum of trust that must be in place. Often times that sensitive information is available anywhere, just as long as the employee has the password. If an employee were to develop malicious intentions, it can be catastrophic for an Orlando SEO company. That said, it is a lot easier to change passwords and monitor network activity than it is to locate a stolen hard drive, or worse a piece of paper with passwords scribbled down on it.  

The Benefits of the Cloud

Imagine if you had to personally store every photo you’ve ever taken. Every message you’ve ever sent. Every song you’ve enjoyed? That would require a lot of storage. Terabytes of data, rather quickly. So imagine you had all of that information on your personal computer. Your house gets broken into and the burglar steals your computer Now, all that information is gone for good. Now picture that metaphor on a grander scale. An increasing amount of the world’s digital information lives on secure servers, often thousands of miles away. While hacking and privacy are concerns, they occur less often than human error (spilling coffee on your external hard drive is more likely than you may think.) where is the cloud Cloud programs have saved businesses and individuals a lot of money. When a student cannot afford Microsoft Office (which itself has an online version) they can use free Google Docs. Adobe now has the Creative Suite, which is subscription-based, rather than the old tangible versions of its products like Photoshop and Illustrator. Companies save tremendous amounts by not having to worry about server storage or application requirements. Entire businesses now operate remotely, thanks to the cloud. Good-bye, rent! Goodbye, utilities! And Goodbye, administrative costs! The cloud is also pretty reliable when it comes to keeping your services up and running. As servers are spread out globally, up-time is pretty much guaranteed. When servers are on-hand, a lot can go wrong. Power outages, user error, or faulty parts can crash your servers, and potentially shut down your business for hours, to days at a time. The cloud takes this responsibility out of your company’s hands, and into that of a reliable provider. Virtual Stacks is proud to offer cloud hosting and cloud storage to our clients through our data center. Our cloud server will provide the bandwidth you need while protecting your information from online threats, keeping your business secure. Virtual Stacks also offers integrated marketing strategies including web design, SEO, PPC, and video marketing. When it comes to digital solutions, our internet marketing company can support your business all the way. With us, you will never find yourself wondering “Where is the cloud?” ever again.

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Post Hurricane Irma: What’s Your IT Disaster Recovery Plan?

As a tech company based out of Central Florida, just 40 miles from the Atlantic Coast, you better believe we need to have an airtight disaster plan in place.

IT disaster recovery

With countless web and email hosting clients worldwide, securing their data and protecting our datacenter firewalls is a top priority for us - one that no force of nature should ever be able to break.

However, here in Florida, the forces of nature we face have only gotten stronger. This past week, Hurricane Irma reared her ugly head and in a matter of 2 days caused $100 Billion in damage to the state of Florida and left 10 million residents without power or internet. (To put that into perspective, that's 5 times worse than Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Charley combined.

Can you imagine what would have happened to our clients' websites or their data if we did not have a disaster recovery plan in place?

Thankfully, we didn't have to answer that question. However, because so many people are asking how a hurricane like Irma could have hit our building without affecting their operations, we decided to write this post.

After all, hurricanes are the only threat facing an organization's digital systems. System failures can also occur due to employee negligence, hacking, data theft, tornadoes, earthquakes or international espionage.

That should scare you if you don't have a disaster plan in place already! But here's some good news: with the right disaster plan, you can combat any and all of these issues with ease.

First and foremost, you need to have a virtual private server, or dedicated server, that can easily be used as a backup and disaster recovery solution.

Beyond that, here are some tip on how to ensure that your plan will take care of your business no matter what mayhem brings.

What Does a Disaster Recovery Plan Do?

The first thing to realize is that disaster recovery plans need to be very dynamic and consider all of the moving parts in your business plan. If you have a backup solution, but it's just a routine backup solution, you probably are missing out on some core data being stored that will greatly hinder your business if it was ever corrupted.

IT disaster recoveryThere are a lot of limitations to impersonal disaster recovery and backup solutions. When you back up data, the focus should be how to get that data back instantly when there is a disaster.

If your current plan doesn't allow your business to keep going through different disasters, then you need to consider how to get your business up to that level and what must be done.

There are also different disasters to consider:

  1. Natural disasters - hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, earthquakes, etc.
  2. Man-made disasters - spills, bio terrorism, infrastructure failure, etc.
  3. Cyber terrorism - hacking, stolen data, fraud, etc.

You should consider every type of disaster that can involve your business and create a plan that will encompass a procedure to prevent any major type of loss.

Creating a Foolproof IT Disaster Recovery Plan

Business continuity is of the greatest importance. With the right processes and procedures in place, you can return to functional business operations takes less time, possibly even under five minutes.

If you have good backup procedures, then you may not be at risk. However, there are still some issues that you can prepare completely for using a disaster recovery plan. Take these steps to add to your backup plan and get a better recovery.

1.  Test (& Retest) Your Backup Procedures

Test your backups regularly to ensure that they are working and saving all of the right data. The data that you backup should be easy to get back and not corrupt. In addition, another step to take involves building fault tolerance into critical systems. You can start by installing RAID drives, which are redundant copies of clustered systems and other local recovery procedures to create another layer of protection.

Here's a great video from NCIX Tech Tips on what RAID is and how to install it on your system.

2.  Have a "Complete Fallout" or "Total Loss" Disaster Plan in Place 

Good backups and archiving procedures need fault tolerant critical systems. The next part is to put together procedures for remote disaster recovery. Mainly, this provides an answer to "What happens if this computer center is completely obliterated?" You should have a plan for these situations that will most likely involve virtual private servers, off-location dedicated servers or private cloud computing, cloud hosting or cloud storage. In addition, you need to make agreements with computer vendors beforehand so that you can always get new computers in a disaster.

3. Use Cold Site Disaster Recovery

hurricane irmaThis is a pretty simple way to backup and conduct a disaster recovery. A cold site is a simple way to to serve data in a datacenter where your business keeps information in the event of disaster. This is a cost effective way to set up a disaster recovery plan because you only pay for what you need, and your company can survive various disasters by storing your data elsewhere. Virtual Stacks offers several options to store data and keep your information secure so you don't have to worry about recovering data quickly in the event of a situation.

We also partner with eServe LLC, a corporate data encryption company, which offers secure storage of contracts, corporate training materials and other intellectual property. Their content distribution platform is used by e-learning companies worldwide.

4.  Split Site Disaster Recovery

If you have a bigger organization, then it's important to house your IT department in several locations. If a natural disaster hits one site, you can still resume operations because your information is also stored at another disaster center in another location. You don't have to build a dedicated server as well. You can do this reasonably with a virtual private server.

5. Hot Site Disaster Recovery

This is a premium IT disaster recovery plan, in which systems and real-time data are duplicated and managed at a separate datacenter. The duplicate computer center will always have your business ready in case of any data being lost or stolen. Businesses can switch to the hot site with only minimal disruption.

Is Cloud Computing a Good Disaster Recovery Plan?

There are a few benefits for using cloud disaster recovery plans. These can be done with virtual private servers fairly easily. It's cost effective and with fast uptime, your business is running again in seconds. Faster recovery times are necessary for businesses so it's important to look at datacenters with a 100 percent uptime guarantee and fully redundant datacenters.

With any disaster recovery plan, you have to consider how to create a strategy that is comprehensive for all of your business processes and will get your business up and running quickly. We have a fully functioning datacenter, secure cloud hosting, ecommerce hosting, internet marketing, mobile app development and more!

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The Perks and Possibilities of a Virtual Private Server

The Perks and Possibilities of a Virtual Private Server

Wait, What Exactly is a Server, Anyway?

There is a common and universal vagueness around the understanding of what a server is. But a server is really just a computer. A really big computer. The function of the big computer is to respond to requests from other computers, or to “serve” them. Kind of like a great waiter at a fancy restaurant. Which is why that giant, wait staff of a computer is referred to as a server. One of the many widespread jobs that a server accomplishes is web hosting. So does a Virtual Private Server (VPS) mean you get a giant computer all to yourself? Not exactly. There are actually several ways to host your website.

Shared Servers

When a server is shared, it is really hosting numerous websites at once and all users have equal contact with the server. In a shared server situation, hundreds or even thousands of people have access to the same server. It is a great solution for individual blogs or websites that need little in the way of security. For example, a gymnastics coach might host their site on a shared server, where he or she can list location, class times, rates and areas of expertise for public referral. In this scenario there is little need for high level security or back up.

Dedicated Servers

A server that is used exclusively to host one site is called a dedicated server. A dedicated server is expensive, but a necessary solution for enterprise level organizations like hospitals and large corporations. When you need a dedicated server, you know it. But what if you fall somewhere in between the above options? There is an easy answer.

Virtual Private Servers

Fortunately, server based web hosting can happen in a third form. This is the Virtual Private Server (VPS). A VPS is private and dedicated. When a higher level of security is required, small business web hosting, for example, a VPS is often the best answer. A VPS accommodates where files need an individual firewall, avoidance of public level accessibility and the ability to run software that isn’t allowed in shared server settings. But if it’s not shared, and it’s not dedicated, how does it work?

Here’s How it Works

A VPS is a section of a giant computer or server, which is partitioned to house several smaller servers. Each partitioned server within the computer is its own environment. Each environment has its own operating system (OS) accessible and 100% controlled by its user. A VPS is less expensive than a dedicated server – and a VPS has several advantages over a shared server.

Advantages of a VPS

The perks of hosting on a VPS are numerous:

  • You can fully customize a web space to meet your needs and never have to pay for features or storage that you don’t use.
  • It’s cost effective because it’s scalable. You can start with a plan that supplies only the resources you need and then add to your plan as your need expands.
  • You have more control and more options than with a shared server. You can run most any software to make your web space work for you. You also have CPU processing to keep your site running faster.
  • A VPS gives you the option of conducting secure ecommerce by allowing you to fulfill CPI Compliance requirement - so you can accept credit cards as payment.
  • You get the same level of technical support that you would with a shared server.
  • You can choose the level of involvement and support you desire: from simple server space, to semi- managed sites or even fully managed web hosting where design, SEO and maintenance is all handled for you.
  • But wait, there’s more! A VPS is backed up by design. Most VSP hardware includes a second copy and backup power supplies that keep your site safe! So, if you have any hardware issues at all, your host can easily move your web instance to another space and you’ll never miss up-time or go to expense to fix your server.

Best of all, a VPS is a green light move – once you start hosting with one, your options are almost endless.

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9 Resources on Prevent Hacking and Fraud

9 Resources on Prevent Hacking and Fraud

If you have ever been browsing and you get bombarded with pop-ups that may induce a heart attack?  It may be because some malware advertisement just alerted you of a pesky virus you might have, and if you only download their software, you'll be free from all virus-causing harm. While most people are no longer fooled by these pop-ups, malware still gets on to your website, computer and now, your mobile phone. Hacking is another issue. For webmasters, hackers are the pebble in the shoe that might be covered in poison ivy or a tornado approaching your hometown. In some cases, when your site is hacked, these pop-ups will flood visitors as soon as they load your site. It's a big problem, and you're the only one who can solve it.

The best way to prevent these attacks is to prepare for them in advance. A good time to start would probably be now. The instances of hacking have become harder to ignore. For example, Target's credit card hack in 2013 and most recently, Heartbleed, which exposed vulnerabilities in OpenSSL. There are tons of resources out there that show you how to prevent attacks and what to install, but unless you decide to stop being in the business of webmastery, there will always be hack attempts on your site.

The following are a few of the most beneficial and smart techniques for preventing hackers from gaining access to your site. All of these authors conducted some thorough research and share step-by-step on how to make your site strong-like-bull against intruders, spammers, DDOS attacks and malware.

Smashing Magazine's "Are You Prepared Against a Hack"

With some updated information and seven steps to follow,Smashing Magazine has a great preventive guide to hacking that focuses on securing your WordPress site. However, the tips can be applied to different types of sites, not just WordPress. They outline a "KISS" plan or "keep-its-short-and-simple" disaster recovery plan that lays out everything you need to do in the event of an attack. One thing that many people don't realize is that they should always copy a hacked website and access log files before trying to roll back or completely take down their site. They also have tips on how to make the process quicker to bring your site back up to running smoothly.

CNET's "How to Protect Yourself from 'Heartbleed' Bug"

The Heartbleed bug shocked webmasters everywhere when it was revealed that sites on any platform with OpenSSL could be vulnerable. The heartbleed bug was so pervasive that it may have affected 500,000 web sites and was able to scrabe a server's memory collecting user data. This guide gives you a rundown on how to prevent your site from being vulnerable from the attack as well as some information about the heartbleed bug.

Dark Reading's "5 Tips to Prevent IoT"

- Basic Guide

For an essential guide to preventing hacking that includes mostly the basics, go to Dark Reading and read 5 tips on preventing IoT attacks. Hackers generally have too much time on their hands, and then there are those that are extremely malicious. This guide goes through some of the more blatant and obscure security threats while giving some basic tips on how to prevent hacks on your site. The directions are simple and easy to follow, and the list might include some things you hadn't heard of before.


Protecting Your Ecommerce Site from Hacking and Fraud

Many businesses have brought their stores online and started ecommerce sites that are a little bit more vulnerable than your average website online. That's because so many of these sites take customer information on a variety of levels. Fit Small Business published a well-written article on what every business needs to know about ecommerce security. Tips range from picking the best ecommerce platforms to what types of DDoS protection and mitigation services you can use to protect your site against these types of attacks.

Huffington Post's "How Hackers Protect Themselves from Getting Hacked"

Huffington Post did an interesting article that explores the ways that hackers prevent themselves from being hacked. While it's not a step-by-step, you can see the mindset of hackers and employ some of their systems into your own virtual servers to prevent against malicious attacks. The story follows an experience hacker and how he prevents vulnerability in his own browsing activities and servers.

IT Governance Blog

- Overall Great Resource

There are a ton of how-tos, guides, updates and news on the IT Governance blog. All types of information can be found here including current lists of cyber attacks and data breaches. You can follow their updates on Facebook or Twitter as well for instant updates and tips.

Spam Prevention Without Captcha

One final thing worth mentioning is the sophistication of spam prevention on blogs and the use of captcha. There are a few different ways to implement these on your site and prevent lots of spam from comments and phishing. One method doesn't involve the obnoxious captcha forms at all. You can check out this method which uses hidden form fields. In fact, you never have to use captcha if you try one of these alternatives.

Moving a Git Repository to a New Server

If your company decides to change around its code, or you are working with a new hosting provider, you can easily move your own Git repository to the new host. There is a great method for moving to a new server that takes less time.

Doing this properly takes some knowledge of how Git works, but you could do this as a beginner if you have some knowledge of servers.

How to Move Repositories Quickly

First, we have to fetch remote branches and tags from the existing repository to our local index:

"git fetch origin"

If all branches and tags were already fetched and exist in a local index, you still don't have a copy of them in a nearby location. Local copies are necessary to start migration.

If the resources above does not minimize your problems, you might be able seek help from your local data center. Online Fraud and Hacking occurs every second, on the look out for personal and sensitive information. Stay alert!

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